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Amy's brownies, frozen desserts a mixed bag for vegetarians, lactose intolerant

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Amy's organic and gluten free chocolate brownies

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Chocolate may reduce the risk of a heart attack. Hearing that bit of news from health news sites, such as Web MD, was like snuggling in a warm blanket on a cool night. Sounds of satisfaction were heard worldwide. But not so fast. Even with chocolate leading to even more health benefits (decreasing blood pressure, improving arterial blood flow, helping people with chronic fatigue syndrome), there are drawbacks.

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One of which is for people who are lactose intolerant and just can't handle a lot of dairy in their foods. Genetics Home Reference confirms that approximately 65 percent of people are lactose intolerant, meaning they aren't able to fully digest the milk sugar found in dairy products.

That doesn't mean that people who are lactose intolerant can't eat dairy products at all. They may not be the best guests to hang around after dinner or the most pleasant to sit next to at a pizza party. But there are ways for people with dairy conflict to enjoy their meals.

1. Ditch chocolate mousse for avocado vegan chocolate mousse.

2. Opt for dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.

3. Be mindful of dairy servings. Maybe a veggie slice with cheese sprinkles is better than an entire slice of cheese pizza.

4. Or, check out vegan and vegetarian versions of desserts that focus more on organic ingredients, natural ingredients, lowfat milk, dark chocolate and cocoa powder.

Amy's Kitchen has several options.

Amy's gluten free, organic chocolate brownies: Pop the frozen box out and microwave for 20 to 25 seconds. These are a convenient dessert that aren't too messy to pack up into sandwich bags. These light dairy brownies aren't overloaded with frosting. The xanthan gum may not be the best at keeping them from falling apart, but that just means more pieces to enjoy. Like many vegan and vegetarian desserts, the texture is slightly thicker than dairy brownies, but Amy's brownies hit the chocolate spot in seconds. (4 of 5 stars)

Amy's chocolate organic nondairy frozen dessert: For those who are not a fan of dark chocolate, this one is going to be a total bust. For those who do like dark chocolate, don't automatically assume this'll be a win. The problem with this chocolate frozen dessert is it has a strange aftertaste. For Chicagoans and tourists who have been to Karyn's Raw Cafe, the dessert has the same spirulina aftertaste that's in the Raw Cacao Super Food Smoothie. However, the ingredients on the frozen dessert don't have spirulina in them. However, as dark chocolate enthusiasts know, some of the desserts are more bitter than others. This one is indeed one of the most bitter, and agave nectar is already strong. That combination leaves bitter and super sweet competing with each other for the most attention. (2 of 5 stars)

Amy's vanilla organic nondairy frozen dessert: Like vanilla ice cream, vanilla bean treats are the happy medium for everybody. The frozen dessert is simpler with a mixture of organic coconut milk, organic cane sugar, organic vanilla extract and organic vanilla bean with a couple other ingredients. Sometimes simpler is better, and in this case, it's the best of the three. (5 of 5 stars)

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all of her latest Chicago vegetarian entries, or subscribe to her Chicago Vegetarian channel at the top of this page. Also, follow her "Diet & Exercise" and "Vegetarian World" Pinterest boards.

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all of her latest Chicago nutrition and fitness entries, or subscribe to her Chicago Diet and Exercise channel at the top of this page. Also, follow her @BlackHealthNews.

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